MY VIEW ON LIFE AS WE TRY TO UNDERSTAND IT August 11th. 1998 I am now 62 years old and I have plodded through the years, at first, enduring the terror of World War Two as a child, surviving the "Blitz " of London, escaping death by minutes. Then, in peacetime, [if you can call it that, but in my world it was] through the schooling years, at which I reached the pinnacle of personal achievement. The last year of my Secondary Modern School, I was top of my class. It was not that I was so smart, it was that the rest of the class was so dumb. But it sounded good, my parents were delighted and when they entered my name for an apprenticeship at a local aircraft plant in Luton I was accepted. [assured with the bribe of a puppy dog to the apprentice program supervisor from my parents] This apprenticeship program was to be the very foundation for the rest of my life.
I worked at the aircraft plant four days a week for a very small salary, even for those days, [ my first weeks pay was $3.00, yes three dollars, 6 years later it was $32.00 ] then for one day a week I went to a local collage, from 8 am till 8 pm. So six years later, after failing one year, amidst threats of all but death, I barely graduated with a degree in electrical engineering. During these six years, in my limited spare time I enrolled in the Royal Air Forces Air Training Cadet program. Here I learned the principals of flight and the joys of flying. During my last year of work in the apprenticeship program I was attracted to the chief test pilots secretary, who worked in the office next to the hanger that I worked in.
Amazingly she was attracted to me and even more amazing her parents were also. It was here in my life that things changed radically for my future. During the war years and later I was always impressed with the American and Canadian servicemen in England, they had a way about them that was contrary to our strict Victorian upbringing. They were more relaxed, more fun loving and seemingly, more confident of themselves.
As a teenager I always longed for that level of being confident. Now the parents of this young lady that I was seeing, had visions that their daughter and I would do well in the Colonies, Canada, Australia or even the United States. Her father had spent 15 years in Canada and was impressed with the many opportunities he saw. This instantly appealed to us and at the conclusion of my apprenticeship program off we went together to Canada. I shall always love her father for pushing me to do this, it changed everything that was to happen to my life. We lived in Canada for nine months and what a rude awakening that was, I had suffered the rigors of prejudice, many Canadians hated the English and were not bashful about showing it.
I quickly realized that my future in Canada was limited, also, suffering the hash winter working outside as a contractors helper was not my idea of a profession. So leaving my then fiance in Canada, I emigrated to the good old US of A. Later, after finding work she joined me and we were married, but not for long. She suffered terribly from homesickness and I, from the lack of understanding and we parted company. The US Army drafted me and for two years I served as an army aviator in helicopters during the Cuban Missile Crisis and t he early Vietnam years, this was another experience I shall always cherish. After returning to civilian life, the Boeing Helicopter Company, near Philadelphia was looking for experienced helicopter engineers and so began a 27 year career that was, in my opinion, one of my greatest successes, second only to marriage to my beautiful wife, Linda.
Who, incidentally, I met at Boeing. Boeing gave me many opportunities and I took them all. The company was good and fair to me. Throughout my career I learned much and I gave much. Give nothing and you will get nothing, that goes for work and for personal relationships. Yes, it appears that some people are working hard at great discomfort for the comfort of others.
The very nature of work is working for someone to help them maintain a level of luxury that far exceeds the luxury that you could ever expect from the rewards of that labor. You spend 8 hours a day at work, 8 hours sleeping and 8 hours getting ready for work and getting ready for bed, somewhere in between we are supposed to have a meaningful life. During my career, [ we call it a career only after we have successfully survived and completed one] a great deal of living and learning was done, some failures, some successes and some achievements, far too much to list here, for we are getting to the part that is, I feel, the reason for this writing. The mysteries of life have been one of everyones subject of deep thought at one time or another. I have read much on the subject, some works by very famous men and women and yet I must be blessed, for I believe I have an answer, youll note I said An answer, not The answer.
Its an answer that satisfies me. We are born and we see people die, we see the same thing in just about every thing else, animals, plants, birds, trees etc. we all are so fearful of death, whats going to happen to us and our loved ones Many theories and speculations have been made, none really provide any comfort in our futures and yet religion tells us that there is a heaven and a hell. Page 1 of 3 Depending on our behavior on earth will determine which place we will go and spend eternity. In total bliss in heaven or in unimaginable terror in hell. Well, for most of us thats enough to keep us in line, but we all worry if its enough.
We are what we are taught, education is essential, of that there is no question, but what we are taught can some times be questionable if not downright wrong in our minds. Its all depending on the personal agenda of the teachers. Thats why there are so many religions in the world, they cant all be right, they fight terrible wars over them. Now is that not stupid Yes we all agree, but we have our own agenda, we have everything, compared with rest of the world and well jealously defend it. Right or wrong, we will. However, let me now get to the part that attempts to impart my personal out look on our future, beyond our scheduled stay on earth.
What prompted me to write this credos was the reading recently of a book called, "Living Philosophies- a series of intimate credos" published by Simon and Shuster, New York in 1931 featuring the writings of some very famous people, such Albert Einstein, H.G. Wells, Beatrice Webb, Bertrand Russell to name a few. Now there is no doubt that I can not be considered on a similar plane with these great minds, yet I want to have my say, in what I believe they may have missed. If it is proved that what I am about to say, has been missed by them, then I guess I may one day be the subject of a paragraph or two in a book read by others in about another 100 years from now. [ If there are books and we are still all here then] Simply put, all these writers, in their own highly educated form and presentation, one that is difficult for the lay person to understand, seems to ridicule man and mans folly in chasing their dreams and religion in general.
They seem to rely on the science of life and the answers that result from the studies of these disciplines and cannot provide any satisfaction to themselves or to others as to why we are here and for what real purpose. I also cannot provide any plausible answers either, however the following is offered as food for hope and thought... We are given a brain that governs all that we do, see, hear and comprehend, some brains are far more capable than others, just as I struggled through college, others would sail through, without homework even, I now know that I did not posses a photographic memory as others had. Yet, given that we all understand that we rarely, truly believe that we cannot learn, we can, given enough time and teachers expand our knowledge greatly. O.K. all this means is that some people get there faster than others and this will result in what is called in our limited working world, success. Now that we have discussed the differences in the ability to learn things with our brains, lets go to the one thing that demonstrates the brains limitation to understand.
Well all recognize and understand that life begins and ends, a journey starts and ends, a story, this credos, starts and ends. Our brain can comprehend all of this. We now know that the earth is round and that we will not fall off the edge as in Columbus time. We have through studies and research by great men and women, come to learn much about life and science., If anyone of us should, with what we know today, go back in time, say, 60 years and tell the people of that time what we know, we would be laughed at and ridiculed at best, if not put away or worse.
Now lets look at our brains capacity or limit, this is the part that I believe is really the heart of this writing. Remembering that we all know that things begin and end, try to clear your mind of the day to day garbage, go outside on a clear night and look at the stars, or during the day and look at the clear blue sky. We have traveled from the earth to the moon, weve been there and back. The scientists are now planning a manned journey to other planets, ones we can see with telescopes.
We know there are other stars and other galaxies with moons and worlds somewhat like ours. Then there are those galaxies that cannot be seen, they are beyond the capability of our best telescopes. But they are out there, our reasoning tells us that. It goes on forever and ever, right It does not end ever, it cannot, for if it ends there must be the start of something else. Now you see that our brain cannot envision the end of the universe. It is impossible.
IF IT ENDS-THERE MUST A BEGINING, IF THAT ENDS, SOMETHING ELSE BEGINS. And so on, and so on. - Think about it. Really think about it. Our brain cannot go beyond that, it has reached its limit Now that you have reached this realization, let me now give you my personal reasons for hope. Page 2 of 3 Given all the wonders in this world, all the beautiful things, all the love and emotions, all the almost inconceivable billions of life forms that exists here.
Compare that with all the absolutely inconceivable countless galaxies out there and once again, the brain cant see an end. IT IS ENDLESS. We, with our limited brain capacity, tainted by what we are taught by prejudiced teachers, are destined to plod on and wonder through life serving the masters of the world, in constant fear of death, for we do not know whats there for us. I say, given the enormity of these endless galaxies and universes that there IS A PLAN FOR IT ALL and WE ARE ALL A PART OF IT. WE ARE ALSO ENDLESS. Have faith, it was given to you, its in your brain.
Enjoy your lives love your fellow man, enjoy this wonderful world, take on the challenge of the bad, good, love and kindness will prevail. God Bless you all. Brian R. Woodcock August 11th 1998 Page 3 of 3